Japanese PM Survives Motion of No Confidence

A motion of censure against Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan was rejected Thursday by the Lower House of Parliament, which will allow Mr.Kan continue to manage the Fukushima nuclear crisis and conduct government action after the quake and tsunami.

In total, 293 members of the Lower House opposed the motion while only 152 voted in favor.

Before voting begins Thursday afternoon, Mr. Kan said at a meeting of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) that he would resign after completing a number of actions in the framework of reconstruction post-disaster management and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

“Once the reconstruction efforts after the quake comes to a certain stage, I will transfer my responsibilities to younger generations”, he said, “the nuclear crisis continues and I will do my best to put an end to this crisis and to advance the work of post-quake reconstruction.”

Japanese opposition parties had filed a motion of no confidence against Mr. Khan, to compel the Prime Minister to resign because of dissatisfaction with handling the crisis following the disaster of 11 March.

The DPJ and parties with whom he formed a coalition controls the lower house. In addition to opposition voices, it would have required 82 votes from the ruling camp are favorable to the censure motion to have it passed in the House, which has 480 seats.

Several members of the camp of the former figurehead of the DPJ, Ichiro Ozawa, a rival of Mr.Kan had pledged to vote for the motion. Some cabinet members belonging to the DPJ Kan resigned Wednesday, so as to support the initiative of the opposition.

However, after Mr.Kan had promised to resign after he had solved the worst of the crisis, several members decided to vote against the motion and to grant additional time for Mr. Kan.

Mr.Kan took office as prime minister a year ago. This is the fifth head of government in Japan in four years.